Now that the holiday rush is over and the seemingly endless shopping has finally ceased, it is time to get back to the realities of everyday life. Once the Christmas tree and ornaments have been packed away for another year and friends and family who came to visit for the holidays have returned home to start the new year off right, so should you. That means getting back to work and school and your normal daily routine.
If the holiday season has over-extended your financially, leaving your credit card balances at an all-time high and a stack of unpaid bills staring you in the face, then it is high time to concentrate on getting things back on track. Many people struggle during this “post-holiday hangover” period, but there is really no need to panic. Have a look below for a few simple and sane ways you can recover from your holiday debt.
The first step in ridding yourself of holiday credit card debt is to assess your total balances to determine exactly how much you owe. When prioritizing your monthly expenses and determining the credit card payments you can afford to make, it is important to first take your monthly bills into account (rent/mortgage, utilities, food, car payments, etc.) Once you have determined your monthly expenses beyond your credit card debt, you can come up with an amount you can devote specifically to paying down your balances.
If you need a little extra help getting a handle on your finances, there are some excellent free apps that are available for IOS and Android systems. The two most popular financial apps for tracking your budget and organizing your finances are Mint and Tally. These easy to use apps can be a great help in organizing and paying down your holiday debts. You can even link your bank account to submit online payments with ease. With Mint, you can easily monitor your finances in real time with easy to use color-coded graphs and charts. Tally offers an extra online tool that can help you find and qualify for lower interest credit cards. By simply transferring your existing balances to new cards with 0% introductory periods, you could potentially save thousands in interest charges.
If you are going to get control of your finances, the bottom line is you will need to stop spending, which means putting your credit cards away. If you seem to use them more often than you should, take them out of the equation by leaving them home when you go out, or simply cutting them up. But simply cutting your spending may not be enough. Depending on your resources, you may also need to stop spending on any extras until your debt is paid down. For example, you may need to cancel your cable subscription and opt for cheaper online services like Netflix or Sling for your entertainment. Another option may be to downgrade your service to the most basic package. The bottom line is, nobody knows better than you the things you can live without in your budget, so cut back on everything that is not absolutely necessary until your holiday debts are behind you.
If you still find yourself without the funds you need to get your finances back on track, even after making the tough sacrifices, then you may need to look for an alternative funding solution to consolidate your debt. Depending on your credit, there are many different options, including personal loans, a home line of credit or emergency loans, like Georgia title pawns. Whatever option you choose, keep in mind that the short-term sacrifices you are making are for the betterment of your overall financial health and stability, and learning from your mistakes is the first step towards not repeating them.